Why would I bring up the female midlife crisis on a website for women over 60? Isn’t a midlife crisis something that happens to us in our 40s? Also, aren’t men the ones who typically suffer from this?
Not really. In fact, in talking with the other women in our community, I am convinced that many of us are still going through something very similar.
We may not be running out to buy sports cars or fancy new outfits, but, we are questioning almost everything about our lives. We are examining our friendships, questioning our past, worrying about our future and searching for meaning in our lives.
Women over 60 are challenging stereotypes and living in their own way. In the past, there wasn’t a lot of room for a midlife crisis in your 60s. Life expectancies were shorter and expectations lower.
Most women I know are no longer content to “age gracefully.” We want to explore the world and engage with our passions. Unfortunately, we can also be impatient to live the life that we have always dreamed of.
We know what we want to do, but, we might not have the financial resources, energy or patience to make our dreams a reality.
This is why we feel a sense of crisis. We finally feel like we are beginning to understand ourselves, just as our time is running out. We know that we have accomplished a lot already, but, now that we are in our 60s, we find ourselves looking for new sources of meaning.
To be clear, in our case, the word “crisis” does not need to be negative. It can simply describe the urgency that we feel to improve ourselves and the world around us in the time we have left.
I recently had a chance to sit down with Dr. Margaret Rutherford to discuss the phenomena of the female midlife crisis and how it does – or does not – apply to women over 60.
Dr. Margaret is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in depression and anxiety, so, she is the perfect person to help us get to the heart of this issue. Enjoy the show!
Dr. Margaret starts by explaining that her clinical work has given her many insights into the transitions that men and women go through during this critical time.
She points out that women, more than men, suffer when they lose their sense of who they are in the family. This often leads them to wonder which direction they should go in next.
For a number of reasons, women don’t have as many positive role models as older men do. This is partially the result of the media, which has a tendency to celebrate older male celebrities and business leaders more than their female counterparts.
As a community, we need to help each other to see that the world is full of strong, dynamic, interesting older women. I know for a fact that there are women in our community who are going back to university, training for new professions, traveling the world, running marathons and so much more!
When you have the opportunity, please share your stories. There is so much that we can do to help each other to turn a sense of crisis into a call to action.
Dr. Margaret encourages us to focus on what we can control. She asks her clients to focus on small tasks every day that will help to improve their confidence. This is similar to the advice that I have given in the past to start small if you want to accomplish big things.
Finally, she encourages each of us to be our own cheerleader. You are an amazing woman and you deserve every happiness in the world. So, acknowledge your accomplishments and find the courage to build a beautiful new life. I hope that you enjoy my interview with Dr. Margaret.
Do you think that, to a certain extent, the sense of crisis that we feel in our 60s is actually a good thing? Why or why not? What are you doing to get the most out of life after 60? Please share your story in the comments.